Posts tagged defense
Posts tagged defense
The Center for Public Integrity reports on “The Army Tank that could not be stopped” and how “Corporate cash and adroit lobbying have helped crush the Army’s effort to stop work on its premier tank.” From the story:
So far, the contractor is winning the battle, after a well-organized campaign of lobbying and political donations involving the lawmakers who sit on four key committees that will decide the tank’s fate, according to an analysis of spending and lobbying records by the Center for Public Integrity.
“Sharp spikes in the company’s donations — including a two-week period in 2011 when its employees and political action committee sent the lawmakers checks for their campaigns totaling nearly $50,000 — roughly coincided with five legislative milestones for the Abrams, including committee hearings and votes and the defense bill’s final passage last year.”
The nation’s biggest defense contractors are on pace to make record amounts of political contributions this election cycle. Unfortunately for Democrats, the vast majority is going to the GOP.
In 2008, defense contractors made $24,607,268 in political contributions, with 51 percent going to Democrats, according to Opensecrets.org, which tracks such spending. This time around, the companies have already spent $15,383,513, putting them on pace to more than double their 2008 contributions, according to Opensecrets.org. Republicans have received 60 percent of that money.
Two words explain the disparity: budget cuts. Defense contractors see Republicans as their strongest allies in their increasingly desperate push to block – or minimize – up to $1 trillion in potential Pentagon spending reductions. Republicans’ promises to shield the contractors may amount to no more than election-year political rhetoric, but the defense industry is rewarding those it sees as its friends.
But the House Armed Services Committee members who passed the oversized defense budget draft may have other interests in mind. Four of the top-ten industry campaign donors to House Armed Services Committee members, as categorized by OpenSecrets.org, would appear to benefit from this “slush fund.” “Defense Aerospace,” “Real Estate,” “Misc Defense,” and “Building Trade Unions,” already contributed a total of $4.89 million to House Armed Services Committee members in the 2012 election cycle. The majority of that went to Republicans.
And House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and his leadership PAC are the top congressional recipients of defense industry campaign dollars. See the chart below to see how defense dollars stack up against his other campaign contributors: